Here’s what some of our contributors have been up to in their blogs in the last couple of weeks. Happy reading!

Blogging trailblazer? (Flicker)


Sandra, our contributor from Portugal, describes the many festivities that take place in the Netherlands in November and December. She’s been very busy!

This year was the most cheerful Saint Martin’s Day that I have ever enjoyed! I didn’t stop all evening. Many children knocked at my door with their paper lanterns, singing Saint Martin’s songs. In the end of the evening, the three bowls filled with candies got almost empty! That means all the children have sung very well.


Anu, our contributor from India, opens her home and shares the 3-day celebration of Kathikai, a sort of Diwali in South India.

In our south-Indian dominated colony, Karthikai arrives with much fanfare, with special pujas in the temple, which I have never attended, thanks to having to celebrate the festival at home, and stay guard over the lamps, which have to be constantly replenished with oil! But more interesting are the beautiful red and white kolams decorating every house and the beautiful lamps which light up the usually dark passages


Ski, our contributor from Hong Kong, published a thought-provoking scene in the streets of Hong Kong.

Spotted during a tour with Renate. It was a scene that touched my heart and made me pensive for a few moments. When Renate stopped to take a few pictures of them as unobtrusively as possible, I waited at the side, appreciating the finer details of that beautiful moment.


DeeBee, our contributor from France, writes about the meaning and delights of decorating a Christmas tree.

The decorations must be removed on 12th day after Christmas, or January 5!
Pagan civilizations believed that the branches of holly, ivy, mistletoe and guy used to decorate their house during the Winter Solstice celebrations housed the Tree-Spirits. The sprigs were not only used as decoration but also protected the Tree-Spirits during the 12 days following the celebrations of the Winter Solstice, when the sun had disappeared and evil spirits roamed the earth.


Jenna, our contributor from Poland, reflects on her love for Polish trains.

When I first started teaching in Poland, my students often asked me what I thought about the country. I once answered that I really liked the train system. I thought it was great that there are train connections to nearly every city and town in Poland, and that I can live a car-free life. They stared in response. “You like the  Polish train system?” They couldn’t believe me. “Polish trains are terrible!”

Read more

Christmas in Wroclaw, Poland
How we celebrate New Year in Portugal
Neha, from Mumbai to Zagreb

About the author

Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.